The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/20/11 at 01:16 AM ET
Updated 3x at 1:43 AM: The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness makes it 3 sources, and 3 sources = confirmation: According to Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner and via RedWingsFeed, the Red Wings have already signed the man who will back up Jimmy Howard this season:
The Detroit Red Wings have signed goalie Ty Conklin to a one-year contract worth under $1 million, a source close to the team said Tuesday night. The Wings are expected to officially announce the signing sometime Wednesday morning.
This will be Conklin’s second stint in Detroit. He was Chris Osgood’s backup during the 2008-09 season, appearing in a career-high 40 games and winning 25 of them.
Conklin, 35, spent the last two seasons as a backup for the St. Louis Blues, playing in a total of 51 games. The backup position to Jimmy Howard became available when Osgood announced his retirement Tuesday afternoon.
Update: MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms:
It hasn’t taken the Detroit Red Wings long to find a replacement for Chris Osgood.
The team has agreed to a one-year contract with veteran goaltender Ty Conklin. The deal, worth less than $1 million, could be announced as early as Wednesday.
Conklin, 35, will serve as Jimmy Howard’s backup. Conklin flourished in the same capacity with the Red Wings in 2008-09, going 25-11-2 with a 2.51 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.
Conklin played more than expected while backing up Osgood, who battled through consistency issues much of the regular season before excelling in the playoffs. He is not expected to play that much behind Howard, who is a workhorse.
Update #3: The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness also confirms:
Less than a day after goaltender Chris Osgood announced his retirement from the National Hockey League, the Wings have found their backup for starter Jimmy Howard. Detroit has agreed to a one-year deal with former Wing Ty Conklin. The one-year deal could be announced as early as Wednesday and believed to be worth less than a $1 million for the season.
“We’ll have an announcement on another goaltender probably at the end of the week,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during Osgood’s announcement of his retirement.
Conklin, 35, played one season with Detroit (2008-09) and recorded a career-high 25 wins, going 25-11-2 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage. Coincidently, Conklin filled in for Osgood during his season with the Wings when he struggled. Osgood found his game and wound up leading the Wings to the Stanley Cup.
Conklin played the last two seasons with the Blues in a backup role, struggling last year with a record of 8-8-4 and a 3.22 goals-against average and .881 save percentage. Conklin, who was not claimed when the Blues placed him on waivers last February, made $1.4 million last season.
Last week, Holland said he had been offered a goalie through a trade. Last Monday, the Wings re-signed Joey MacDonald to a two-year deal. The first year of the contract is a two-way deal. MacDonald will be the third goalie going into the season.
“When we signed Joey MacDonald he understands he’s going to be the third goalie in the organization this year,” Holland said. “It’s the same role he had a year ago.”
The Wings pursued a number of different backup options for starter Jimmy Howard when free agency started, including Tomas Vokoun, Jose Theodore and Mike Smith. All three however were looking to battle for a starting job and not be the No. 2 goalie.
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